We live in a world where ungodliness is displayed everywhere we look and getting worse. This shouldn’t be a surprise because we live in a world filled with the ungodly. Ungodliness is the logical outcome.
If the ungodly displays ungodliness, then the opposite is also true; the godly displays godliness. That’s not to say that the godly never commits any acts of unrighteousness or the ungodly never shows some form of morality. It happens all the time, but it goes against their true natures. Eventually, their attitudes and actions will reveal their true colors.
In the Bible, true godliness is not something that is produced but something that is expressed. Only the impostor will mimic or imitate godliness to try to hide who they really are at heart. This happens due to the false notion that God accepts us based upon our godliness. The Pharisees and the hypocrites are known to use godliness as a cosmetic to try to get spiritual gain.
1 Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Genuine godliness is the state by which you are completely dazzled by Jesus as your righteousness. In other words, when you are captivated by the gift of righteousness provided by the grace of Christ, godliness is the end result. This is the reason we cannot separate grace from godliness because when you dive into grace, you will be soaked with genuine godliness.
A man of God says it in this manner:
“For godliness is not the consequence of your capacity to imitate God, but the consequence of His capacity to reproduce Himself in you; not self-righteousness, but Christ-righteousness; the righteousness which is by faith.” ~ W. Ian Thomas
Genuine godliness is great gain for us believers in Christ; however, godliness as just a public display of piety is hypocrisy. These have a form of godliness but deny the power that generates it – grace. God is not interested in outward show to try to convince Him or impress man.
1 Timothy 4:7-9 “…exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”
Firstly, the apostle Paul commends us to exercise ourselves towards godliness. Notice he says to “exercise towards godliness” and not to “exercise godliness.” That’s because godliness is not something you do but a place you arrive to. In the context, the way to start moving towards godliness is by being nourished in the doctrine of the Gospel of Grace, which reveals righteousness by faith in Christ. When you constantly remind yourself, meditate, and contemplate that you are the righteousness of God in Christ despite of your weaknesses, you are exercising towards godliness. Organize your daily life in a way that you may constantly listen, watch, or read messages filled with the Gospel of the grace of Christ.
Secondly, genuine godliness is profitable for all things. When we exercise our bodies, we accomplish an outer profit (health, fitness, discipline, etc.) that must be kept with self-effort. If we stop exercising, we easily slide back to where we were. In this sense, bodily exercise profits only a little when compared to exercising spiritually towards godliness. When we exercise towards godliness, we will profit in all things, which are kept effortlessly because it is by the power of God’s grace through us. You will receive spiritual and physical benefits in the now and in the eternity.
A man of God says it in this manner:
“The believing man hath the Holy Ghost; and where the Holy Ghost dwells, He will not suffer a man to be idle, but stirs him up to all exercises of piety and godliness…” ~ Martin Luther
Lastly, We have this idea that godliness is to purposely suffer, be poor, dress and talk religiously, and lock yourself up from the world to avoid being contaminated by the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life. But in the context, these outer modifications profit only a little.
On the contrary, to experience genuine godliness is to live right according to Scripture with boldness and courage in the midst of a corrupt world so your progress may be evident to all. Then you will be unique, set apart, and breaking the mold. That doesn’t mean that you should put yourself in situations where you know you will fall. Don’t set yourself up for moral failure by putting confidence in the flesh. Use wisdom but don’t be afraid to shine the light of Christ.
1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.”
The apostle Paul says godliness was a mystery because in the Old Testament godliness was always an outside modification via the Law of Moses. But the secret to genuine godliness, now revealed, is found in the person and the finished work of Jesus. It is the place of God’s grace.